Fiction Review: Her Last Words by Jo Barney


TITLE & AUTHOR: Her Last Words by Jo Barney
PUBLISHER: Penner Publishing
RELEASE DATE: September 28 2015
PAGES: 303 pages




I was given a free copy by the author in exchange for an honest review.


Every summer four old friends flock together at Madge’s seaside house to swap stories and sip wine. Throughout divorces, children, and new marriages, only the beach house and the sisterhood that comes with it, hold constant. This time, though, something is different.

Madge, the writer friend who brought them all together, is acting strange. She asks them for a risky, unthinkable favour. And then one morning, she disappears.

In Madge’s absence, her friends discover the unfinished manuscript to what will be her final novel. It is the story of past forty years of their lives, a story that may reshape their futures.


‘My God’ Lucius says, as close to praying as he has been in years. ‘We’re on Venus’. Monoliths rise ahead of him like black spectres, their crags and angels cutting through the mist, jutting towards the high, bluing sky.


Her Last Words is a lovely, sad, heart-warming novel. I absolutely loved it. The characters are well-written and painfully real. I loved the women. They were like old friends I’d bumped into for the first time in years. I liked the way the novel is narrated with occasional time shifts revealing each story Madge had included in her final novel, Think on These Things. This worked really well. When the author reveals what has happened to Madge and the true purpose for the women meeting at her seaside house I cried my eyes out. I really wasn’t expecting what is revealed and it felt like I’d been punched in the heart. Her Last Words is the kind of book you fall in love with which stays with you for a long time. I’ll be thinking of these women a month from now and maybe even longer.




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